May 23, 2022
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I would like to acknowledge that we are gathered today on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen Peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt.
I’m pleased to be here as commander-in-chief to help mark this milestone for the Canadian Rangers. Congratulations on your 75th anniversary!
I see so many Rangers here from across the country— from coast to coast to coast—Indigenous and non-Indigenous. All of you have at least one thing in common: you have all chosen to serve.
You serve your country with pride and conduct yourselves with professionalism and care. And by no means do you have an easy task.
You assume a lot of responsibility in our remote, isolated and coastal communities, and your roles are as varied as they need to be. You wear many hats at a job that’s not the normal 9 to 5.
You deploy quickly when needed, responding to natural disasters or search and rescue efforts. On many occasions, you’re called upon as experts in the field, knowing the terrain better than any other member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
That is because of the Rangers’ particular strength: you train and live—and even grew up—in the communities you protect.
I’ve seen the results of your work first-hand.
Throughout my life, I’ve had the great fortune of meeting and knowing some members of the Canadian Rangers. My father was a Ranger before I was born. And I have other family and friends who chose to enlist.
And just two weeks ago, when I visited my home region of Nunavik, in northern Quebec, I was greeted by Rangers who not only serve the community, but care for it and call it home.
Their involvement helps build understanding, respect and reconciliation in northern and remote communities across Canada.
I want to thank each and every one of you and let you know that I value what you do, and the sacrifices you make. And I hope you’re taking care of yourselves.
The work you do often means you put the needs of others first—the people who need help, the colleagues who require support, the families that need you there. I have seen, time and again, people working on the front lines failing to take care of themselves. One of my priorities as governor general is mental health and well-being. Taking better care of ourselves, mind and body. Without one or the other, we can’t function.
And often, those who work so hard for us all don’t seek out the help they need, when they need. The help they need to cope with the stresses that come with the work. With your work.
I hope to reduce the stigma of asking for help when required. I speak from personal experience, when years ago I sought out treatment for burnout and depression.
Although mental health issues are surprisingly common, it takes courage to share our stories.
We need you healthy, so that our communities can remain healthy.
I know that despite any challenges you face, you do your job with Canada’s complete confidence in your skill and ability.
I thank you for your sacrifice and dedication. I thank your families for their sacrifice as well.
I want you to know that I see what you’re doing and I will share my appreciation, both here and now, and with Canadians across the country.
Your stories, bravery, strength and proficiency will continue to inspire me as I perform my duties as commander-in-chief.
To all of you here, to Rangers past and present, I wish you the very best on this milestone 75th anniversary. Thank you again for all that you do for Canadians.